About ‘Gender in Transition’

We’re a group of students (and one professor) interested in trans issues, trans theory, and trans politics at Indiana University – Bloomington.  We’re keeping this blog as a component of a course in the Department of Gender Studies called “Gender in Transition,” taught by Hilary Malatino, Ph.D.

What’s the class about, you ask? Well, it tracks the phenomena of gender transition across multiple spaces, times, and academic disciplines.  Beginning with an examination of the linked, but distinct, terminological histories of the words ‘transsexual’ and ‘transgender,’ the course moves on to examine the sometimes tendentious relationships between feminist political theory and trans* issues; the occurrence of structural and everyday violence in trans* lives; trans* political critique and resistance; trans* issues and identities in transnational contexts; and queer/trans* cultural productions that re-vision the ontology of sex and gender differences.

Want to read along with us? Here’s our schedule:

1.8 and 1.10: Introduction

  • Course Syllabus
  • In-Class Viewing of Trinidad [Dirs. Jay Hodges and PJ Raval, 2008]


1.15 and 1.17: A Brief History of Transsexuality

  • “Sex Change,” “From Sex to Gender,” and “A Fierce and Demanding Drive” in Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Harvard, 2004).


1.22 and 1.24: A Briefer History of the Term ‘Transgender’

  • “Part I: Imagining Transgender” in David Valentine’s Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category (Duke, 2007)*


1.29 and 1.31: Competing Allegiances: Radical Feminism and Gender Transition

  • Janice Raymond’s “Sappho by Surgery: The Transsexuality Constructed Lesbian-Feminist”;  Carol Riddel’s “Divided Sisterhood: A Critical Review of Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire; and Lou Sullivan’s “A Transvestite Answers a Feminist,” all in Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle, eds. The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge, 2006).


2.5 and 2.7:  Unsteady Alliances: The Formation of Transfeminism


2.12 and 2.17:  Transmisogyny/Transmasculine Privilege

  • Julia Serano’s “Transmisogyny Primer,”online at http://www.juliaserano.com/av/TransmisogynyPrimer-Serano.pdf
  • Pat Califia’s “Manliness” and Jamison Green’s “Look! No, Don’t! The Visibility Dilemma for Transsexual Men” in Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle, eds. The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge, 2006).


2.19 and 2.21:  The Trouble with Medicalization

  • David Cauldwell’s “Psychopathia Transexualis” and Harry Benjamin’s “Transsexualism and Transvestism as Psychic-Somatic and Somato-Psychic Syndromes” in Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle, eds. The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge, 2006).
  • Dean Spade’s “Resisting Medicine, Remodeling Gender,” online at http://www.deanspade.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/resisting.pdf*

2.26 and 2.28: Administrative Violence I: The Limits of Legal Reform

  • “Trans Law and Politics on a Neoliberal Landscape,” “What’s Wrong with Rights?” and “Rethinking Transphobia and Power – Beyond a Rights Framework,” in Dean Spade. Normal Life Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law (South End, 2011).


3.5 and 3.7: Administrative Violence II: Transition, Poverty, and State Assistance

  • “Administrating Gender” in Dean Spade. Normal Life Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law (South End, 2011).
  • National Center for Transgender Equality’s “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” online at http://transequality.org/PDFs/Executive_Summary.pdf
  • Eli Clare’s “Losing Home,” in Exile and Pride (South End Press, 1999)


3.12 and 3.14: SPRING BREAK!


3.19 and 3.21: Trans-ing the Prison Industrial Complex

  • Yasmin Nair’s “How to Make Prisons Disappear: Queer Immigrants, the Shackles of Love, and the Invisibility of the Prison Industrial Complex”; Stephen Dillon’s “The Only Freedom I Can See: Imprisoned Queer Writing and the Politics of the Unimaginable,” Clifton Goring/Candi Raine Sweet’s “Being an Incarcerated Transperson: Shoudn’t People Care?” and S. Lambel’s “Transforming Carceral Logics: 10 Reasons to Dismantle the Prison Industrial Complex Using a Trans Analysis,” all in Eric Stanley and Nat Smith, eds. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex  (AK Press, 2011).


3.26 and 3.28: Trans* Issues in Trans-national Frames I

  • Evan B. Towle and Lynn Morgan’s “Romancing the Transgender Native: Rethinking the Use of the ‘Third Gender’ Concept” in Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle, eds. The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge, 2006).
  • Jin Haritaworn’s “Colorful Bodies in the Multikulti Metropolis: Vitality, Victimology, and Transgressive Citizenship in Berlin,” in Trystan Cotton’s (ed) Transgender Migrations: The Bodies, Borders, and Politics of Transition (Duke, 2011).


4.2 and 4.4: Trans* Issues in Trans-national Frames I

  • The “Transgender in Iran” playlist on Youtube, viewable at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL005C585D4C8F304F
  • Be Like Others [dir. Taniz Eshaghian]
  • Afsaneh Najmabadi’s “Verdicts of Science, Rulings of Faith: Transgender/Sexuality in Contemporary Iran” in Social Research 78(2)


4.9 and 4.11: Re-Visioning Gender

  • Falling in Love with Chris and Greg, viewable online at http://fallinginlovewithchrisandgreg.com/
  • “Boys of the Lex: Transgender and Social Construction” in Gayle Salamon. Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality  (Columbia, 2010).
  • The Fashion Issue of Original Plumbing: Trans Male Culture Print Magazine


Best Always,

The Participants of GNDR 450, Spring 2013


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